Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh says the Nigerian Federal Government has adopted some measures to reduce the price of food items in the country.
The step is believed to be in response to the pleas of the people and public figures like retired officer, Major Anthony Kema Eziefula, and the Imo State University Librarian, Professor Okey Okoro.
On separate occasions both men requested the government to regulate the current prices if consumer goods. Their point was that the exorbitance of articles especially food is already leading to hunger and frustration.
On that note, Major Eziefule applauded the protests by Nigerians, saying they have a right to express their pain and disappointment. He also says if the hunger rates go unchecked, then the government should be expecting a revolution.
“Nigerians are right to protest the hardship engineered by the bad economic policies of the present Federal Government. Hunger breeds discontentment, anger, frustration and possible revolution”,
“I passionately appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful and by raising the minimum wage of workers, especially as the Naira has literally bounced.”
Seconding his thoughts, Professor Okoro foresees an uprising if nothing is done about the spate of hunger in the country.
“The N18,000 minimum wage cannot buy a bag of rice today. How can such a person and members of his family cope with the soaring increase in the price of food and transport? This ugly situation should truly concern our policy makers.”
It has been a matter of utmost concern for the NLC ever since the recession, that the minimum wage be reviewed.
The Labour congress has argued that the normal 18,000 minimum wage which some states are still not adhering to is not good enough for the average Nigerian.
The recent economic recession in Nigeria has prompted the hike in prices of consumer goods. As prices of commodities double and triple in the market, NLC’s argument gets a practical backing.
In the wake of the warning that Nigeria was heading towards recession, several calls were made on the government to consider the increment of the N18,000 minimum wage.
NLC complained that the amount was not enough to purchase a bag of rice which is now sold at N22,000.
In reaction to the cries of Nigerians, the FG has come up with a measure to regulate the prices of goods.
While it is expected that the recession will reflect in market prices, some dubious and desperate businesses unduly add to the problem.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Federal Executive Council have started addressing the issue.
The council discovered that the major cause of price hikes were linked to transportation. Audu Ogbeh says that amongst other measures, the Federal government will now use railway wagons to transport food items.
“We will also work with state governments to reduce delays experienced by trucks along the roads through all sorts of taxes by local governments,”
He says that FG is adopting the “Ivory Coast model” in which trucks distributing food items are given special labels.
It is not yet clear if they intend to designate fixed prices to some commodities.